Since the 1980s, the YAG laser has been used primarily to remove the cloudiness following cataract removal with its high-powered, short burst of power. YAG, which stands for yttrium-aluminum-garnet, has been the standard of care for decades.Opacification is the condition that the YAG capsulotomy is designed to eliminate, consists of a cloudy covering that develops over your eye once cataracts have been removed. The secondary procedure that’s performed in the majority of cataract removal cases is required when another lens forms over the eye and requires YAG surgery. The secondary cataract surgery is performed in about three out of four people, and in nearly 100 percent of the cases involving cataract removal in children.
What is the procedure?
Drops will be used to dilate your pupil and then to numb your eye; no injections or needles are used. When your eye is completely numb, a contact lens will be placed to help focus the laser accurately and also keep you from blinking.Your consultant will use a YAG laser to create an opening in the centre for the cloudy capsule. The opening allows clear passage of light rays and eliminates the cloudiness interfering with your vision.The actual procedure only takes about five minutes, however you will need to have the pressure in your eye checked again approximately 10-20 minutes after the procedure, if this is normal you will then be able to go home.
What happens after the procedure?
The results are almost immediate, however your vision will probably be a little blurry from the drops and the dilation, so someone will need to drive you home. You will be given a follow-up appointment for 6-8 weeks, at which your pupil will again be dilated.
What are the side effects of YAG, if any?
Although rare, other problems can arise following the YAG capsulotomy procedure. Most of the additional YAG Capsulotomy complications occur when your eye surgeon is less than expert, which is why at Aakash Hospital, you can be absolutely sure as we have experienced doctors who provide you the best possible treatment with utmost care and dedication.One of the ways that YAG Capsulotomy complications can arise is if you can’t hold still for the very short operation. You may be given a sedative if necessary because it’s vital that your head remain completely inactive. Children and people with mental handicaps often are sedated for the procedure. If you are very nervous about the laser, talk to your eye doctor about options.
It’s after the YAG laser treatment that you also may undergo some side effects. The most common side effect is the appearance of floaters. Floaters are little black lines and spots that appear in your field of vision. These usually subside within a few days, but if they persist for more than 48 hours, you should contact your eye doctor as soon as possible. Floaters may signal a more serious YAG Capsulotomy complications such as:
- Torn retina
- Bleeding in the back of your eye
Blurry vision also can be prolonged following cataract surgery and the subsequent YAG laser treatment. While most people can resume their normal activities shortly after the quick shot of the laser, if you have blurry vision, you should talk to your eye doctor, who can monitor your progress. Again, 48 hours is the point at which you should seek follow-up care.
Are there any risks involved?
It is a safe and effective procedure, but like any medical procedure, it does have some risks. Perhaps the greatest risk posed from the YAG procedure is the chance of getting a detached retina. A retinal detach-ment occurs about two percent of the time from the laser procedure. Serious complications with posterior capsulotomy are extremely rare. The most common risk is the rise in pressure within the eye. If this occurs then you may be given drops, or a combination of tablets and drops, to reduce the pressure.
If you and your doctor decide that posterior capsulotomy is an option for you, you will be given additional information that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure to have all your questions answered to your satisfaction at Aakash.